Protesting ‘Tiger’ and ‘Elephant’ to Hit Queens on UniverSoul Circus’ Opening Night

PETA Points to Exhibitors' Citations for Filthy Conditions and Lack of Veterinary Care

For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

On Wednesday, PETA supporters in tiger and elephant costumes with “tears” running down their faces will descend on the opening night of UniverSoul Circus in Queens. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that UniverSoul leases the tiger act used in its shows from notorious big-cat exhibitor Mitchel Kalmanson, who has been cited repeatedly for failure to provide veterinary care and for excessive confinement, including one citation last year for holding tigers in foul-smelling, maggot-infested cages without exercise.

Where:           Roy Wilkins Park at Merrick Boulevard and 119th Avenue, Queens

When:             Wednesday, April 27, 6 p.m. sharp

Elephants don’t fare any better at UniverSoul, as the highly social animals were taken away from their families, and trainers use bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—to force them to perform confusing and uncomfortable tricks. Many cities, including Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, have banned the use of bullhooks because of the pain that their use inflicts on elephants.

“The tigers, elephants, and other animals used by UniverSoul Circus are imprisoned, denied everything that’s natural and important to them, and bullied into performing dangerous stunts under the threat of physical violence,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges consumers never to buy tickets to circuses that use and abuse animals.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind